UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [Lords], Committee Stage

I sat on the Bill Committee for the UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [Lords]. The UK Infrastructure Bank was established in June 2021, with funding of £22 billion over its first five years. The Bank, which is publicly owned, provides finance to the private sector and local government for infrastructure projects. It is currently operating in an interim form, which means it is lacking in staff and functions.

The UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [Lords] would provide the bank with statutory footing and a legislative framework. During the committee, I asked the Minister the following:

“One of the difficulties is that the Bank of England does not have a spread across the regions. Does my hon. Friend not agree that we should have regional expertise as well, which is the whole point of levelling up all parts of the country?”

“That is the whole reason we are here as legislators. I gently remind the Minister that it is important to put things in the Bill; otherwise, there is confusion and there are too many grey areas. The Minister does not want lawyers to get involved, but it is important to have clarity. That is the purpose of legislation. Does he agree?”

The point is that this is public money. The bank has to be accountable for it. Lawyers are the guardians of justice. It is not about making more money for lawyers. It is about interpreting legislation that is put through very quickly and not thought through. That is the basis of it.”

The Bill is now scheduled to have its Report Stage in the Commons.